“Trains and boats and planes are passing by, They mean a trip to Paris or Rome, To someone else, but not for me, The trains and boats and planes,
(Lyrics by Hal David 1966.)
The Industrial Development Authority (IDA), smugly and at every possible media opportunity, boasts of its success in achieving strong net job performance, with 11,766 jobs created in client companies, mainly through foreign direct investment.
In first place, with some 54%, or 6,389 jobs created, was Co Dublin, while in second place was Co Cork, achieving some 1,979 similar job replacements during the same twelve month period.
Here in the County of Tipperary, the South of the county saw a mere ten jobs put in place, ( Fifth from bottom of the overall list, ) while in North Tipp (Bottom of this list, ) saw not even one single job created, during this same period.
These figures have not been concocted by me, but were provided courtesy of the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mr Richard Bruton, supplied in a written reply to Donegal Fine Gael Deputy Joe McHugh.
Nora Owen, Michael Lowry, Michael Noonan, & Former Taoiseach John Bruton visiting Thurles in better times.
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny has once again ruled out a request to the Moriarty Tribunal to examine the financial transactions of Independent North Tipperary TD Michael Lowry, following the recent controversy that has become publicly labelled “The Lowry Tapes.”
The Lowry Tape Narrative
On Feb 24th, the Sunday Independent published a transcript of a phone conversation that reportedly took place between North Tipperary TD Mr Michael Lowry and a Northern Ireland land agent, Mr Kevin Phelan. The reported taped conversation which was recorded from a date back in 2004, had been recorded without Mr Lowry’s knowledge and during a time when the Moriarty Tribunal was investigating Mr Lowry’s financial relationship with a businessman Mr Denis O’Brien.
This facet of the tribunal were then enquiring into whether Mr Lowry had interfered in the awarding of a second mobile phone licence in 1995, while he then served as Minister for Communications in a Fine Gael led government. Land agent Mr Kevin Phelan, who appears to have been involved with both business men, refused to travel from his home in Northern Ireland, to give requested evidence at this enquiry.
Early in 2013, following a disagreement with Mr Lowry, Mr Phelan reportedly conveyed this taped conversation to a journalist M/s Elaine Byrne, which the former claimed was this same recorded phone conversation, the transcript of which was later published by the Sunday Independent.
A recording of the Independent TD discussing a sum of £250,000 ( Sterling ) now emerged on this tape recording, released after the tribunal had already issued its final report.
Labour Party TD Kevin Humphreys who works for the constituency of Dublin South East, believes that the present Government, of which he is a member, should now ask the Moriarty Tribunal if it had already assessed this sum referred or if this was new money, not previously examined. While Mr Kenny said he understood fully Mr Humphrey’s concerns, he would not reopen the tribunal to deal with this new issue, stating that Gardaí were examining it, but it wasn’t for him to comment further or indeed reopen the Tribunal in question.
The present Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan stated last month that detectives must fully engage with “a key witness,” before a decision could be taken regarding whether Mr Lowry had indeed any case to answer.
Deputy Lowry has claimed that the payment discussed in this taped conversation, was indeed fully tax compliant.
It would appear that Thomas Davis, editor of The Nation newspaper may have got it right after all, when in the 1840s he stated “Where Tipperary leads, Ireland follows.”
The Revenue Commissioners who began sending out, this month, notices to the owners of Tipperary’s housing stock, including flats and apartments, have stated that every property owner in the county should receive notification of their Property Tax levy, by the end of next week. Based on the number of teenagers, who own no property in the State, who have been incorrectly notified, this latter statement will be proven grossly incorrect.
However plans are presently being made here in Tipperary, to protest, latter which will see pickets placed on the offices of this county’s government party TDs and Senators, who have given sanction to this unjust and very controversial levy.
New Anti-Property Tax Campaign
The county campaign of protests against this tax is being launched by Independent TD Seamus Healy over the next two weeks. Deputy Healy will organise at least nine public meetings throughout Co. Tipperary, aimed at drumming up public support for Property Tax abolition.
The Deputy who heads-up the Workers & Unemployment Action Group, has invited people opposed to the imposition of this Property Tax to take part in a protest picket to be organised in South Tipperary, outside the constituency offices of Fine Gael TD Tom Hayes and Senator Landy at 3.00pm on Saturday, April 6th next. A plan to place Pickets outside the constituency offices of North Tipperary’s government party Oireachtas members will be announced at a later date when fully finalised.
Deputy Healy, has described the new Property Tax, as a “grossly unfair and unjust tax, failing to take into consideration a person’s ability to pay, while forcing a burden designed to target low and middle income families.“ His campaign of opposition to the levy aims to put pressure on the parties in Government to scrap it.
The Revenue Commissioners, using draconian powers, based on a Tax Estimate system, aim to collect this tax from property owners, via PAYE Salaries, retired persons hard earned Pensions and through deductions from unemployed persons Social Welfare Payments. Whether they like it or not, the latter will be forced to pay in full.
Self employed businesses, on the other hand, through a little creative accounting, are in a position to introduce paper work via untraceable business receipts or cash payments, which are easily capable of going undetected in any possible future audits by the Revenue Commissioners, thus avoiding payment of this unjust tax. This Property Tax therefore is without doubt a tax on lower incomes, as gutless Labour Party supporters will learn from a new “Behaviour and Attitudes” poll, to be published in tomorrow’s Sunday Times newspaper.
Anti-Property Tax public meetings, presently being organised by Deputy Healy, will meet at the following venues during April, so do take note if you feel strongly about this issue. Venues Are:- Cahir House Hotel, Cahir next Tuesday April 2nd; The Carraig Hotel, Carrick-On-Suir next Wednesday April 3rd, Hearn’s Hotel, Clonmel on Thursday, April 4th, Tipperary Community Services Centre, Tipperary on Friday, April 5th, Kearney’s Castle HotelCashel on Monday, April 8th and St Mary’s Hall, Killenaule on Friday, April 12th.
Note: All meetings will commence at 8.00pm sharp, so come along to a venue near you and make your views known.
While County Tipperary home owners appear to have ‘accepted their fate,’ the counties of Galway, Laois, Dublin, Wexford, Kildare, Louth, Waterford, Cork, Limerick & Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan’s own county Kilkenny will all hold a national day of local protests against the new government levied Property Tax. Protests today in these latter counties will include the picketing of clinics of several Labour members of Dáil Éireann and County Council offices.
In a recent TV interview, the head of the Revenue Commissioners, Josephine Feehily correctly forecast foul-ups in attempting to collect this new local property tax & same appears to be borne out by today’s Independent newspaper, who report that a 15-year-old girl received a local property tax bill for a house where her parents currently pay the mortgage. Several similar incidents of teenagers & non house owners receiving demands, have also been reported in Tipperary.
These protests on the property tax appear to be fuelled, in particular, by the reduction of the number of houses eligible to claim exemptions, on the basis of being forced to inhabit ghost estates. Figures indicate that of 1,770 unfinished housing developments around the country, residents in only 421 will now not have to pay this new tax. Previously exempt houses have been reduced from 43,000 down to 5,000.
The Glenatore estate in Athlone, Co Westmeath, is nationally one estate previously exempt from the household charge, because of its building-site conditions and evident visual appearance of empty unfinished properties. This estate made headlines last year, when a male infant tragically died after falling into a pool of water, while chasing his dog. Now according to the Department of the Environment, this estate is no longer one of the 421 unfinished estates classified as being in a “seriously problematic condition,” despite the estate still remaining in a state of total disrepair, with the only work carried out being the erection of unsightly hoardings.
In Tipperary North & South, a total of 35 housing developments, sites, and buildings, published last Thursday, are either fully or partially exempt from this new Property Tax. Here in Thurles, sites listed as exempt are; Ashgrove near Clongower, a Croke Street partial development and Hayfield Manor on Bohernamona Road.
Figures to date appear to indicate that of the 1.6 million home owners liable to pay the levy; just over 7,000 have so far only completed tax forms and sent them back to the Revenue Commissioners.
In the words of the Ballerina & Japanese anime character, Princess Tutu, “May those who accept their fate find happiness; those who defy it, glory.“
The website Daft.ie has now launched its own Local Property Tax calculator (ClickHEREto estimate property tax payment due.)
All the functions on this property website allows the user to input much more information with regards to their private property than the site recently provided by the Government’s own, dare I say, useless Revenue.ie property valuation guide.
Users can insert their geographical location, the number of bedrooms contained, bathrooms and property description, thus providing a useful tool for home owners wishing to guesstimate a more accurate market value for their property.
Daft.ie state that house owners will get a more accurate estimate by using this website, but warned that it should still only be used as an indicator.
For answers, by Revenue, to ‘Frequently Asked Questions,’ (FAQs) on this soon to be implemented Property Tax, Click HERE.
What most people are blissfully unaware of is the meaning of the word DEFER.
My understanding of this word is that imagine your estimated gross income from all sources does not exceed €15,000 for a single person or €25,000 for a couple during the relevant year (for this year’s Return the relevant year will be 2013), you can choose to defer your full Local Property Tax (LPT) liability. In other words you can opt to pay nothing, based on hardship and inability to pay. However this deferred tax will remains a charge on your property and you will be charged interest on the deferred amounts at a rate of 4% per year.
Let me make it simpler for you, this present government is about to register your property with the equivalent of what is called a “Judgement Mortgage,” latter normally attributed to those who refuse to pay outstanding debt.
Imagine you are an old aged pensioner aged 70 below the stated income for this year and you go to meet your maker aged 75, your son or daughter, whom you may wish to inherit your property, will now be obliged to pay all your outstanding deferred Property Tax, on the sale of this property, at a rate of 4% per year, over the previous 5 years of your deferral, unless the vendors income also is below the same income threshold as the previous owner.
This new property tax now makes us all just mere tenants in our own homes, latter which could be eventually stolen by the Irish State, depending on your personal financial circumstances.
Is it now time to emigrate or perhaps change our present governing body? Come back England all is forgiven.
Regarding the latter, this St Patrick’s weekend might be the perfect opportunity to stage a bloodless coup. Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Jimmy Deenihan, Joan Burton, Minister of State Alan Kelly (North Tipperary) & Richard Bruton will all be in the USA, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore will be in Canada, Leo Varadkar, Michael Ring & Dinny McGinley are touring the British Isles. Michael Noonan is going to France, Pat Rabbitte to Italy, Simon Coveney to the Benelux countries, while Chief Whip Paul Kehoe is going to Germany, and Minister of State John Perry will be heading to Finland and Sweden. Brendan Howlin is going to Singapore, Alan Shatter to Australia and New Zealand, and Minister of State Ciaran Cannon heads for China. Popular Minister Phil Hogan has been asked not to attend official events abroad this St Patrick’s weekend and is therefore expected to return to visit Ireland over this same period.
When the Fine Gael/ Labour led Government took office two years ago, the Ministerial travel for St Patrick’s Day was scaled back to just 8 Ministers and the Taoiseach taking part in March 17th festivities outside the State. This number increased to 16 Ministers and the Taoiseach in 2012. In 2013, 19 Ministers and their Juniors with the Taoiseach will travel overseas to some 21 countries.
My question is, “Who is minding the shop?” Then I suppose it would be different if we were experiencing a recession. Now you understand the meaning of the proverb “The more things change the more they stay the same.” (Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, 1908 – 1990)